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Sensory equipment

Sensory equipment generally refers to items of equipment to help people with everyday tasks and to help them live their lives as independently as possible.


 

Sight loss including dual sensory loss

The type of aids and gadgets include:

  • liquid level indicators
     
  • talking watches and clocks
     
  • large print stationary
     
  • big button telephones
     
  • task lighting
     
  • magnifiers
     
  • talking kitchen scales
     
  • talking personal scales
     
  • pocket video magnifiers
     
  • desktop magnifiers

How do I know I am buying or borrowing the right equipment?

Before you buy or loan any equipment it is worth getting independent advice to make sure that the type of equipment you’re getting is going to best meet your needs.

In Staffordshire and the surrounding areas there are a few voluntary associations for the people with a sight loss, which have resource centres where you can visit and look at some of the equipment that is designed to help with activities of daily living.  We would advise that you contact the centre prior to visiting to confirm availability and opening times.

Beacon Centre - Wolverhampton

Address: Wolverhampton Road East, Sedgley, WV4 6AZ
Phone: 01902 880111
Web:  Beacon Centre website

Beacon Centre - Cannock

Address: Cannock charity shop, Market Place, WS11 1BU
Phone: 01543 467852
Web: Beacon Centre website

They offer weekly advice sessions.

Birmingham Focus on Blindness

Address: 48-62 Woodville Road, Harborne, B17 9AT
Phone: 0121 478 5222
Web:  Focus Birmingham website

Sight Support Derbyshire

Address: Suite 2.2 - 2.10, 2nd Floor, Litchurch Plaza, Litchurch Lane, Derby DE24 8AA
Phone: 01332 292262
Web:  Sight Support Derbyshire

Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)

Sight loss advisors via the RNIB helpline or factsheets online, provide general advice about things to consider when choosing a wide range of daily living equipment.

Phone: 0303 123 9999
Web:  RNIB website

Vital Tech

This is an online resource which provides general advice on assistive technology

Where can I buy equipment?

The shops listed below offer a selection of products from some low cost items to the specialist assistive technology; pocket video magnifiers, desktop magnifiers, text to speech readers, computer software (magnification and speech). 

The shops below have more specialist technology: 


 

Hearing loss including dual sensory loss

The type of aids and gadgets that are available include:

  • vibrating alarm clocks and watches
     
  • loud audible doorbell alerts with or without flashing light
     
  • loud telephone ringers with or without flashing light
     
  • amplified telephones with tone or volume control

How do I know I am buying or borrowing the right equipment?

In Staffordshire and the surrounding areas there are voluntary associations or charities for deaf people, which have resource centres where you can visit and look at some of the equipment that is designed to help with activities of daily living.

We would advise that you make contact prior to visiting to confirm availability and opening times. Before you buy or loan any equipment it is worth getting independent advice to make sure that the type of equipment you're getting is going to best meet your needs.

The following organisations are good sources of information and advice.

Action on Hearing Loss

They have produced a range of factsheets that provide general advice about things to consider like when choosing a wide range of daily living equipment.

Action on Hearing Loss - Hear to Help (Staffordshire)

Monthly sessions are available to support those who wear NHS hearing aids or are worried about their hearing at various venues around the county.

Email: heartohelp.staffordshire@hearingloss.org.uk
Phone: 0808 808 0123 

Deafvibe hub

Web: DeafVibe

When: First and third Friday every month, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Bradwell Lodge Community Centre, Bradwell Lane, Porthill, Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 8PS

You can get one to one advice from friendly advisors. No appointment is needed but there may be a wait during busy times. You can get

  • advice on equipment where you can try before you buy direct from specialist equipment providers
     
  • advice and support in relation to your deafness
     
  • more information about services that can support you
     
  • signposting to other services

Where can I buy equipment?

The specialist equipment providers listed below offer a selection of products from some low cost to the more specialist technology such as baby alarm monitors to pager systems which can cover a number of alerts in the home such as doorbell, telephone, baby or carer alarms and smoke alarms.

Important note: for people who have pacemakers fitted, advice must be obtained from your consultant before wearing a pager or neck loop system next to your body as this may cause interference. 


 

VAT exemption form

If you have a disability including, visual, hearing or dual sensory impairment, you are eligible for VAT exemption when purchasing equipment from specialist eEquipment providers.

You can usually find the VAT exemption form at the back of their catalogues or on their website. If in doubt, contact them in the first instance before purchasing any equipment.

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